As soon as I heard T-Boz and Chilli were going to make a movie about TLC, I wondered if they were going to start from the record deal or from the beginning before Chilli was in the group. They did indeed go all the way back to Crystal Jones, and she would like to let all of us know that she didn’t get kicked out of the group because she couldn’t sing. She got kicked out because Pebbles is a crook.
Pebbles has been on Twitter since the movie got the greenlight talmbout how she was wronged and how TLC is slandering her name. Even way back when on TLC’s Behind the Music (that I know every word to) she said she felt like TLC was something that was stolen from her. I never believed her, I’m glad they dragged that heffa in the movie, and I’m glad Crystal told her side this week.
According to Crystal and her former manager Ian, TLC was Ian’s idea, something like a female version of Bell Biv Devoe. He and his partner brought in two Lisas, one who obviously got dropped and Lisa Lopes, but Ian was not feeling Lopes for the group. Her image was wrong for his idea of a group of tomboys to counteract the Exposes and the En Vogues currently on the scene and when Lisa showed up in a dress, he dismissed her. It wasn’t until she rapped for Crystal and let them know she preferred baggy clothes that Ian saw her as a fit for the group. Tionne missed the initial audition and Ian was ready to move with Crystal and the two Lisas, but his partner was insistent that they meet with Tionne. So, they went to her house at 2am, woke her up, she sang for them (with a cold) and Ian replaced one of the Lisas with her.
Now, how did Crystal end up on the sidelines? Well there are three stories. The one we saw in the movie showed Crystal as a weak singer who couldn’t cut it. Rewind some ten years ago, and the story was LA Reid had the three girls in his office, loved Tionne and Lisa, but when Crystal started to sing, it turned into a talent show where they were trying to outdo each other. The chemistry was off and he replaced her with Chilli, who was a backup dancer for Damian Dame at the time.
Crystal’s version has the loudest ring of truth.
They’re gonna tell it the way that they see it. But as far as what happened, and I’m sure everybody wants to know, it was based on the contract. When we got to the lawyer’s office, it was myself, Tionne, and Lisa sitting there. Keep in mind we’re 18, 19-year-olds, okay? By that time they had already taken us away from Ian–I won’t say how–but they had already gotten us away from his management contract. So we’re sitting there and I’m going through the paperwork and it’s lengthy and I didn’t understand anything. So I turned and looked at Pebbles and I said, ‘Can I take it home and have my mom take a look at it because I really don’t understand what I’m reading?’ She said, ‘No! Absolutely not!’ So I didn’t sign it.
That’s the story I believe. One, if the girl was really that bad of a singer, she wouldn’t have been involved with the project for so long in the first place. Why would a manager take her on as a client and then build a group around her if she really was awful? Two, it’s not like they went out and replaced her with Whitney Houston or something. They chose Chilli, OK? The group was not put together to be a vocal powerhouse. Three, it backs up T-Boz and Chilli’s claim that their contract was whack. Crystal doesn’t have many nice words for the group that kicked her out, so why would she make up a story that helps them confirm their story? Pebbles made a shady contract that wouldn’t stand up to a discerning eye so she kicked Crystal out of the group for wanting to have it looked over.
There’s a full interview with Crystal at V103, but a lot of it really does come off as sour grapes. She has a book coming out soon that nobody cares about because she was only in the group for a week so she needs to promote it. At the end of the day, she probably feels like she was cheated out of superstardom, which obviously wouldn’t have been guaranteed without the strength and conviction of Chilli’s Baby Hair. Crystal Jones needs to go home and sit down because clearly it just wasn’t meant to be. Boop.